We have seen many examples of how young males get sucked into feeling dissatisfaction with their bodies when taking part in online transgender communities. Often this dissatisfaction comes from liking things our culture traditionally deems to be “for girls”, other times there is a sexual element to the desire to change sex.
For young girls who aspire to transition, the motive much more often seems to be a pervasive unease with the strictness of the female gender roles. It’s like these girls and young women are aware of the fact that men have it better in a lot of areas, but they don’t know what to do about it. We see this clearly in this post, where the poster talks about her unease, even hatred of her female body:
I feel a deep discontentment with my female body 95% of the time.
I think some aspects are quite amazing (like menstrual cycles and the potential to give birth!), but that doesn’t detract from my general unease and disgust with femaleness to the degree that I feel pinned down by it (or trapped in it!).
Feeling some ambivalence about your body is certainly not unusual. Not only because of failing to meet arbitrary standards of beauty, but also because of the social significance our bodies have.
When I look in the mirror, I can’t accept what I see. I hate my hips and butt and breasts. My thighs just seem generally shapeless. Overall, I have a weaker composition than most men. I hate how “soft” I look. My facial features are soft as well and I am drawn to sharper, deeper features (otherwise more masculine ones).
One part bog-standard “hating your thighs”, something females have been conditioned to do literally since they were babies:
I have had an obsession with men from a young age. I have always picked up on their privilege. To me, they seemed more free, more successful, funnier, braver, more outrageous, more lighthearted, and less complicated than women. I looked at men and I saw power and movement, joy and grounding. I looked at women and saw sacrifice, pain, accommodation and anxiety. Men just seemed like the half that had it figured out.
And one part internalized sexism.
Obviously looking at that now, I realize there are so many things that have traditionally held women down and still do. I hate the expectation of some effervescent personality, of that need to feel accommodating, of acting stupid when you’re not. Of women congregating over things like consumption and trends, instead of more enduring things. (Again, this is what’s reflected in the media, but it’s also experienced. I simply did not fit in with girls my age, nor do I feel I fit in with college-aged women today. I find their interactions surprisingly vapid, maybe even scripted, and dissatisfying.)
She hates the expectations that are put on women, yet she is also quick to dismiss women as “vapid” and their interactions dissatisfying.
Does this make any sense? Is my disgust with gender norms bleeding into how I literally perceive the female figure?
The first reply, the very first reply, is this:
If you are dissatisfied with the sexist expectations of society, you should have your breasts surgically removed, because obviously you are not a real woman.
The OP gets more level-headed advice further down in the thread, thankfully. We here at transgenderreality hope she can learn to become at ease with her female body in a sexist world. And let’s hope young women stop looking for advice about these things in places that are blatantly sexist.